(6) THE JOURNEY TO MECCA

 

It was 26th of Rajab sixty-first of Hijri

The heat was unbearable, boiling point the degree

The caravan was ready with young and old

This was the day, the Prophet had foretold

 

"A day will soon came when my dearest Husayn

Will leave Medina, in indescribable grief and pain

To meet his fateful destiny, in a far off land

With his family and few friends, a tiny band"

 

With grief in the air, the atmosphere was surcharged

With heavy hearts the Medinites silently watched

Can it be true that their most beloved Husayn,

With his family and friends, would all be slain?"

 

They pleaded with him to drop the risky journey

He was priceless in all terms, including money

Or take with him their strong young men with arms

Who would ensure him against any possible harm

 

They also pleaded that Ali Akbar be left behind

So that, when memory of Prophet came to their mind

They could look to him, for he was his very image,

From head to foot, in looks, mannerism and gait.

 

Husayn was silent, how could he explain?

Islam was sinking! There were many to be blamed!

It was his martyr's cup, how could he reveal

The plan of God to erase the cancerous evil.

 

He apologized; to grant their wish he was not able

Such love, such feelings were indeed laudable!

He would, however, remember them in his prayer

His daughter, Sugar, he was leaving to their care.

 

Seriously ill, she cried her heart out

They were leaving her, she had no doubt

Destiny's hand was beckoning the Imam

Proceed he must, was God's command!

 

Towards holy Mecca the caravan slowly proceeded

A farewell journey: no explanation was needed

The guardian of truth was himself out to uproot

The weeds of untruth, with his devil destroying boots.

 

From Kufa they sent an urgent pathetic appeal

In the name of God, from the helpless people

"Truth is being trampled, we look to you

To oust this tyranny, come to our rescue."

 

"You, as our Imam, must heed our solemn call

And save Islam, from its impending downfall

There is no time to lose, we anxiously await

Please come at once and do not be late."

 

He knew that treachery is a satanic vile

And the Kufians in this were ahead by miles

Time and again, Ali they had shamelessly betrayed

Fickleness and shifting loyalty, was their trait.

 

They had addressed him as their Imam

He was, therefore, in painful duty bound

To heed their call, despite past experience

It was a supreme test for Imam's holy license.

 

Ordinary spiritual beings can easily foretell

The coming events, as well as, misfortune dispel

The fountainhead of spiritualism knew much more

The things, that were destined for him, in store.

 

He was so attuned to the will of Almighty God

His every act bore the stamp of the Merciful Lord

Destiny's plan had to be implicitly carried out

By none other than Husayn there was no doubt.

 

As his emissary, he sent his cousin, Muslim Ibn Aqil

To see things for himself; their pulse to feel;

He received a hearty welcome he wrote to Husayn

Little did he realize their vile, treacherous game.